Effect of pelleted cereal-based feed used in the diet on feed intake, eating behaviour, rumination and nutrient digestibility in antelope sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii)
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University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Dietetics, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
Silesian Zoological Garden, Promenada gen. Jerzego Zietka 7, 41-501 Chorzów, Poland
P. Górka   

University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Dietetics, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
Publication date: 2016-05-22
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2016;25(2):125–133
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of pelleted cereal-based feed used in the diet for antelope sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) on feed intake, eating behaviour, rumination and nutrient digestibility. Three male sitatunga were fed a basal diet (chopped dehydrated lucerne, ground cereals, soyabean meal, vegetables and fruits) with ad libitum access to meadow hay. The animals were allocated to 1 of 3 treatments according to 3 × 3 Latin square design and fed diets where 0, 50 or 100% of dry matter (DM) from basal diet was replaced with a pelleted cereal-based feed. DM intake of the basal diet and meadow hay, as well as overall DM intake and organic matter (OM) intake did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05). The eating rate (g DM · min–1) of the basal diet increased (P = 0.03) whereas eating time (min · day–1) and eating frequency (n · day–1) tended to decrease (P ≤ 0.07) linearly as pelleted feed inclusion in the diet increased. On the other hand, a tendency (P = 0.07) to longer time of hay intake (min · day–1) was observed with increasing inclusion of pelleted cereal-based feed in the basal diet. Rumination frequency (n · day–1), time (min · day–1) and rate (min · g–1 of DM intake) did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05). Apparent total tract digestibility of OM decreased linearly (P = 0.05) with increasing pellet inclusion in the diet. Pelleted cereal-based supplement used in the diet affects feeding behaviour and thus may affect health and welfare of sitatunga in zoological gardens.
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